SMM7, 19 March: copper production in Zambia fell 4 per cent to 393419 tons in the first half of this year, compared with 410919 tons in the same period last year, according to data released by the Zambian Ministry of Mines on Thursday.
Zambia introduced a new mining tax in January, requiring local imports of copper concentrate to impose a tariff of 5 per cent, a move aimed at ensuring the country's interests in natural resources. However, it has also directly increased the costs of copper mining enterprises, more than half of the copper mines are losing money, and thousands of miners are in danger of losing their jobs.
Copper production has also been directly affected.
Zambia's copper production fell 11.3 per cent month-on-month to 195244 tons in the January-March period this year, the Zambian central bank (Bank of Zambia) said earlier.
Zambia's copper production this year is expected to be about 100000 tons lower than in the same period last year, the Zambian Mining Association (Chamber of Mines) said.
But officials at the country's mining ministry said the decline in copper production was mainly due to a decline in ore grade.
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